The Theatre program at TAPA is designed to teach, train and inspire youth with the history, theory and practice of the art of play. The program teaches both theatrical education and real world application of the art and pushes the students to use theatre as an outlet to express themselves and gain skills, professionalism and confidence.
Coursework begins with many early forms of theatre as well the core foundations of acting. Students move on to covering areas such as Greek Theatre, Commedia Dell'arte, Shakespeare, Musicals, International Theatre, Experimental Theatre, Melodrama, Comedy, Farce, Improv, Stage Combat, etc. We also have a Technical Theatre curriculum that includes coursework in stagecraft, lighting, sewing, puppetry, conceptual design and stage management. In addition to this, the department puts on several productions a year and competes in performance competitions as well.
The culmination of all of the subjects and experiences is each student then writes, directs and produces their own short play during their Senior Year. All of this work is covered in a rigorous curriculum that includes arts integration with their core classes while also adhering to the National Core Arts Standards.
Our students are held to a high standard and have achieved many accolades and experiences. Students have won multiple Shakespeare competitions, worked directly with many local theaters and one of our students even performed for Lin-Manuel Miranda. This department is only beginning to scratch the surface of what our students will accomplish and we look forward to education, inspiring and assisting in our students path of success.
TAPA Theatre Arts Team
ShaLayla Simmons, Theatre Teacher and Artist in Residence
ShaLayla Simmons is a graduate of Northern Illinois University where she earned her BA in Theatre Arts, and the University of Houston, Victoria where she earned her M.Ed in Educational Leadership. She has been afforded the amazing opportunity to combine her passions for theatre and education by working as a fine arts educator in Houston before joining the TAPA team here in Providence. She is passionate about performance, and has enjoyed performing in Houston as a member of the Legacy Theatre Company, as well as Founder and Director for the Champion Troupe Theatre Ensemble, but her most rewarding role is the role she gets to fill daily as an educator of the arts where she has the privilege of actively engaging students in the craft by creating lessons and facilitating instruction for students while preparing them to create shows for school and community- she sees it as a duty and honor to ensure theatre arts is accessible to all students.
Rachel Nadeau, Adjunct Theatre Artist in Residence & Director of Performing-arts Education (DoPE)
Rhode Island born and raised, Ms. Nadeau discovered her passion for theater and all of its associated forms while in attendance at the University of Rhode Island. Upon completion of her bachelor’s degree of Fine Arts in Theater Studies, she freelanced as a local thespian around the state working with a multitude of theater companies in a variety of production roles ranging from actor to stage manager. Among her accomplishments are instructing technical theater courses at URI, running summer theater camps and directing a production of Our Town in her home state. Along her journey she has worked with several companies including Academy Players, Courthouse Center for the Arts and the Newport Playhouse. She was also a resident stage manager and properties designer at 2nd Story Theater in Warren, Rhode Island. She is now excited to be the adjunct theater artist in residence at Trinity Academy for the Performing Arts.